Attacks by suspected herdsmen claim 14 lives in Plateau

FOURTEEN persons were killed when suspected Fulani herdsmen attacked two villages in Jos South and Bassa Local Government Areas of Plateau State on Sunday night.

The Punch is reporting that one of the attackers occurred in a community known as Rati on motorbikes and opened fire on the villagers, killing 12 persons; while the second attack happened at Adu village, located in the Kwall District of Bassa LGA. One person died on the spot, and the second died on Monday after having been rushed to the hospital.

Simon Lalong, Governor of Plateau State, is currently on the entourage of President Muhammadu Buhari who is attending the China-Africa Summit, in China.

The recent attack happened despite a tip-off to security agencies by a civil society group, Stephanos Foundation. According to The Punch, Mark Lipdo, Executive Director of the foundation, on Sunday, alerted security agencies about an intended attack by herdsmen.

“It is rumoured that the Fulani will sweep over Berom Land on (Sunday) September 2,” Lipdo was quoted as writing.

“This was how all the past attacks were rumoured and the security operatives took it for granted until hundreds were wiped out, some in their sleep.

“Here again is another rumour. What will the security operatives do? Sit down, do nothing until blood is spilt?

“God, arise and defend the cause of the defenceless in the land. It is another rumour, but today rumours seem to be more authentic than government information. So sad.”

Meanwhile, Plateau State Police Public Relations Officer, Mathias Tyopev, confirmed the attacked but said 11 persons were killed and 12 others injured.

“On 02/09/2018 at about 2030hrs, the Plateau State Police Command, Jos received a distress call to the effect that unknown gunmen attacked Lopandet Dwei Du Area of Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State,” Tyopev said on Monday.

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“The Command immediately mobilised to the scene of crime. On arrival, we discovered that some people were shot. The victims were immediately rushed to Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) and Plateau Specialist Hospital.

“As a result of the attack, eleven (11) persons have been confirmed dead by doctors from both hospitals mentioned above while twelve (12) persons were wounded and are now on admission receiving treatment.”

Killings by suspected herdsmen in have become a regular occurrence in Plateau State despite several promises by the government, as well as security agencies to bring the situation.

In June this year, over 80 persons were killed in one single attack by suspected herdsmen in Plateau State, prompting former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili to embark on a one-woman protest to the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, to compel the government to act rather than keep making empty promises.

Ezekwesili was, however, prevented from getting to the State House by security personnel who, at some point, got physical with her.

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